186 user 113 critic

Vanishing Point (1971)

During the 1970s, car delivery driver Kowalski delivers hot rods in record time but always runs into trouble with the highway cops.


Guillermo Cabrera Infante (screenplay) (as Guillermo Cain), Malcolm Hart (from a story outline by)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Barry Newman ... Kowalski
Cleavon Little ... Super Soul
Charlotte Rampling ... Hitch-Hiker (scenes deleted)
Dean Jagger ... Prospector
Victoria Medlin ... Vera Thornton
Paul Koslo ... Deputy Charlie Scott
Robert Donner ... Deputy Collins (as Bob Donner)
Timothy Scott ... Angel
Gilda Texter Gilda Texter ... Nude Rider
Anthony James ... First Male Hitchhiker
Arthur Malet ... Second Male Hitchhiker
Karl Swenson ... Sandy McKeese - Clerk at Delivery Agency
Severn Darden ... J. Hovah
Delaney & Bonnie & Friends Delaney & Bonnie & Friends ... J. Hovah's Singers
Lee Weaver ... Jake


Kowalski works for a car delivery service. He takes delivery of a 1970 Dodge Challenger to take from Colorado to San Francisco, California. Shortly after pickup, he takes a bet to get the car there in less than 15 hours. After a few run-ins with motorcycle cops and highway patrol they start a chase to bring him into custody. Along the way, Kowalski is guided by Supersoul - a blind DJ with a police radio scanner. Throw in lots of chase scenes, gay hitchhikers, a naked woman riding a motorbike, lots of Mopar and you've got a great cult hit from the early 70's. Written by Matthew

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


It's the maximum trip... at maximum speed. See more »


Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sensuality/nudity and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Director Richard C. Sarafian's original choice for the role of Kowalski was Gene Hackman, but the studio, "20th Century Fox," insisted on using Barry Newman if the movie was going to be made. See more »


The first time the Challenger goes through red dirt, it covers the back half of the car including the rear window, so dirty it would take a car wash to clean it. Immediately afterwards, the car is shown clean as a whistle, exactly like it was when Kowalski first got in it. Just one of several out-of-sequence shots of Kowalski driving the Challenger down the road. See more »


Hitchhiker: I like you, Kowalski... I like you...
Hitchhiker: I've been waiting for you for a long time... Oh, how I've waited...
Kowalski: Yeah? Since when? Where?
Hitchhiker: Oh, everywhere... Everywhere, and since forever... Patiently... Patiently... that's the only way to wait for somebody...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Fox logo is shown without the fanfare making it one of the first times this has happened. See more »

Alternate Versions

When first released in Brazil, the movie had some scenes cut, reducing the running time to 99 minutes. See more »


Referenced in Modern Noir: The Sights & Sounds of 'Bound' (2014) See more »


Sweet Jesus
Composed & Sung by Red Steagall
(Courtesy of Dot Records)
See more »

User Reviews

Good DVD
22 February 2004 | by hamanncrosscreekSee all my reviews

Just received a DVD of this film and was pleasantly surprised. The image is restored and looks great. After years of watching grainy and scratched prints its nice to see it as it was in 1971. Theatrical trailer and two TV spots are included. Commentary by Richard C. Sarifian brings some insights into filming locations, the various actors, etc. (Gilda Texter was severely sunburned during her desert motorcycle ride and she was girl friend of actor Paul Koslo who also appears in film.) And a story of a prostitute befriended by the crew,who stole the last remaining challenger. (eight were used, only one survived.) She was caught sometime later. The real treat is actress

Charlotte Ramplings missing scene near the end of the film. While it really adds nothing to the story,its nice to finally see the missing footage after thirty years. There are also some striking images of the challenger at daybreak in that previously missing scene. The only thing lacking is commentary from the STAR of the film, Barry Newman,which would have made this a Great DVD.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

13 March 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vanishing Point See more »

Filming Locations:

Page, Arizona, USA See more »


Box Office


$1,585,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Cupid Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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